Early Garden Tips

5 05 2011

Gardening season is coming and I have started to plan what changes I am going to make based on what I learned from last year. You can reminisce with me by clicking here. It is so tempting to get out there on the first nice day, but we know here in Calgary we will get frost or snow yet. What I have learned though, is that you can plant some seeds now! Lettuce, carrots, beets, kale, radishes, spinach and peas are hardy enough. Now, with harsh weather, you might lose little seedlings, but I think the risk is worth it.  If you plant lettuce now, you’ll probably get two harvests from it.

I was chatting with a gardener tonight, she is a long time student at the yoga studio and we chat about landscaping and gardening all year-long. She taught a gardening class this year at the Calgary Zoo.  I wasn’t able to take it in this year, but it sounds perfect. She reviews the planning process, staggered germination timing, soil prep and planting. She does this in real-time so that the gardeners’ homework is their own garden.

Jane told me the BEST tip today, besides convincing me to plant seeds early to extend my harvest time, she said to plant the radishes with the carrots together in the same row. The radishes come up fast, and naturally help to thin out the carrots. I love this. I didn’t thin my carrots well last year and this helps PLUS it saves me a row in my modest garden for planting another row of greens, staggered from the other rows so everything doesn’t come to harvest at the same time. Jane buys seeds with different germination times and charts everything. That sounds fun (for analytics like me).

We’ve been looking at converting our garden space into a green house. I love this idea and my grandma has me convinced. She had this huge green house when I was growing up. With hale and such in Calgary, you can really benefit from a green house, and for busy urban gardeners like myself, it makes for less fuss and longer growing seasons. If not this year, then next. We’ll let you know.

Are you getting ready to plant a garden? How about a community garden?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat

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